Pursuant to House Bill 5032, effective October 25, 2006, the General Assembly will give money to public schools that enroll homeschoolers as part-time students. This gives them a powerful cash incentive to “reach out” to homeschoolers.
Nelson County is even more ambitious and aims to turn homeschools into public schools. Homeschoolers are being invited to join the “Nelson Academy of Virtual Learning” (NAVL). Public school at home programs like this cost far less than building-based education, but Nelson county public schools receive full per-pupil funding for every homeschoool student who joins the program.
Lest you think that the only issue is money, read on:
Their target is you—the free, independent homeschool families of Virginia. Their bait? Free books, and other incentives. And if they act like public school at home programs in other states, they will eventually try to entice you with free computers, Internet access, and musical instruments! If you take the bait, your children will automatically become public school students, and your right to control their education will vanish.
Even the state Department of Education is seeking to enroll homeschoolers via their “Virtual Advanced Placement School.” Advanced Placement (AP) courses can be excellent preparation for college. However, when a government agency controls the content of a particular AP course, the wishes of parents are disregarded.
Parents in Palmdale, California, recently learned a bitter lesson about losing control of their children’s education by placing them in public school. They filed suit against the public school system after their children were given a shocking “survey” containing questions of a sexual nature (e.g., asking children if they thought they were “touching their private parts too much”). In rebuffing the parents, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said, “....parents have no ... right ... to override the determinations of public schools as to the information to which their children will be exposed while enrolled as students.” 427 F.3d 1197 (9th Cir. 2005).
Don't be fooled: there's no free (school) lunch. Take it from those who spent years in the trenches fighting for your right to teach your children as God leads you. When you're offered free books and supplies and laptop in exchange for your acquiescence to the government party line, weigh carefully why you began homeschooling and resolve to render to God what is God's.